Obituaries

Ken Downing

This British driver, who died recently aged 86, only raced for five seasons. But in that time he managed to notch up two grand prix starts.

Downing raced in the British and Dutch GPs of 1952. At Silverstone he ran as high as fourth after qualifying as top Brit in his Connaught Formula Two car ahead of Reg Pamell and Mike Hawthorn. But he spun and eventually finished ninth.

Downing made his race debut at the inaugural Goodwood meeting in 1948. He campaigned the Brooke Special before racing a Connaught sportscar to 15 wins in '51.

He led the Grand Prix des Frontières at Chimay in 1952 until he backed off too early and lost out at the flag.

After a spell with an Aston Martin DB3S in 1953, he retired from racing to concentrate on his business interests in Africa.

Ted Grace

We are sad to report the death of Ted Grace following a road accident outside his home near Pershore.

Renowned as an engineer on touring cars, Grace tended the Wiggins Teape Chevrolet Camaro and Fond Capri owned by Malcolm Gartlan and raced by Brian Muir in the 1970s. When the BTCC switched to Group 1, he worked on cars for Stuart Graham and Michel de Deyne before building the BMW 635CSi that Frank Syiner raced in '83.

More recently, this larger-than-life character carried out freelance work for his many friends and contacts in the sport

Ronnie Adams

Victory on the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally was the highlight of a varied 30-year motorsport career for Ronnie Adams, who died recently at the age of 88.

The Belfast driver was one of the leading competitors from Northern Ireland for three decades and was a very successful racing driver as well as a rally winner.

Adams was born into a successful business family and began driving at the age of 13. 'It was only six years later that he scored his first major rnotorsport success when he won the 1935 Circuit of Ireland Trial in an Austin 16.

He made his name after WWII in his role as a works driver for Jaguar and Rootes, and established a particular reputation for his skill on ice and snow. Those were just the conditions he mastered to win the Monte Carlo Rally driving one of the big, heavyJaguar MkVIls, co-driven by Frank Bigger It was the marque's only victory on the event.

Adams also enjoyed success in African rallies with the works Sunbeam team, and raced in the Mille Miglia and at Dundrod.

This modest character, who was known for his sense of humour, continued competing until the mid-1960s.